How to Keep Dogs Safe During Hunting Season

Hunting seasons vary depending on the quarry, but fall is a common time. Because your furry friend can be mistaken for game or sustain injuries while working outdoors, hunting season poses many potential hazards and pitfalls. If you live near areas that hunters frequent, or you plan to take your canine companion with you on the hunt, take precautions to ensure your four-legged friend’s safety. Follow our Woodinville Veterinary Hospital & Urgent Care Services team’s tips to keep your four-legged friend pal safe during hunting season.

Keep pet dogs safe

#1: Keep your pet dog away from hunting areas

If you are aware of the areas that hunters frequent, avoid these locations for the time being. Expand your pet’s world by taking them to parks or neighborhoods you haven’t previously visited, offering them a fresh—and safe—experience that offers new smells, sights, and sounds. 

#2: Keep your dog leashed

Ensuring your dog stays on a leash or in a safely fenced area helps prevent them from accidentally wandering into a hunting zone. This is especially important if you visit or live near wooded or rural areas. Keep cats indoors whenever possible or in a safe outbuilding.

#3: Keep noise-averse dogs inside during peak hunting hours

Peak hunting hours are generally dawn and dusk, so ensure your pet stays inside during this time. Many dogs have noise phobias and will startle at a gunshot’s crack, bolting from you and becoming lost.

#4: Outfit your dog in bright orange near hunting areas

If you have no choice but to walk your dog near a hunting area, ensure that you and your dog are clad in bright hunter orange. This ensures a hunter who spots your movement knows you and your pet aren’t their quarry.

#5: Make noise as you and your dog approach a hunting area

To alert hunters of you and your dog’s approach, make noise so hunters are aware of your presence. Sing, talk to your dog, or attach bells to your pooch’s collar.

Tips to keep hunting dogs safe

#1: Outfit your hunting dog in a protective, visible vest

A protective, high-visibility vest helps ensure you and other hunters can identify your dog from afar, but also protects their chest and body from undergrowth and barbed wire. Some vests are buoyant for dogs who make frequent retrieves in the water to prevent them from tiring and struggling.

#2: Keep hunting dog first-aid supplies handy

A hunting dog first-aid kit should be an essential item on your hunting trip supply list. Ensure you have supplies to treat lacerations, scrapes, eye irritations, and torn toenails. Your goal is to stabilize your pooch’s condition and prevent infection before seeing a veterinarian.

#3: Ensure you give your hunting dog frequent water and snack breaks

Keep your dog well-hydrated and fueled by providing them with frequent food and water breaks. Small, frequent sips and bites are best for highly active dogs, because physical activity can irritate both a full and an empty stomach and lead to vomiting.

#4: Prepare your hunting dog for weather extremes

Heat stroke and hypothermia are concerns during extreme weather. Ensure you bring along appropriate warming or cooling garments for your hunting dog. In addition, bring gear to keep them sheltered, dry, clean, and off the ground during breaks. 

#5: Protect your hunting dog from outdoor toxins

Blue-green algae is a difficult-to-spot water toxin, and if your dog ingests the substance, it can kill them within minutes. Check with local natural resources agencies for known algae blooms, and keep your pet out of scummy or cloudy water. Lead shot, clay pigeons, and wild mushrooms can also be toxic to your dog. If you suspect your dog has ingested or come in contact with a toxic substance, call the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Animal Poison Control Center or Pet Poison Helpline and immediately head to the nearest emergency veterinary hospital.

#6: Keep your hunting dog up-to-date on vaccinations

Hunting dogs have an increased risk of contracting infectious diseases from game and from the environment, including rabies, tick-borne diseases, and leptospirosis. To help protect your canine companion’s health, ensure their vaccinations and flea and tick prevention are up-to-date.

#7: Ensure your hunting dog has identification

Hunting dogs work off-leash and can become separated from their owners. Ensure your pooch’s collar has identification (ID) with your current contact information, and ensure they have a functional implanted microchip. If your hunting dog is not microchipped, schedule their quick and easy microchipping procedure with our Woodinville Veterinary Hospital & Urgent Care Services team.

By following our safety tips, pets, hunters, and the general public can safely share space during hunting season. Call our Woodinville Veterinary Hospital & Urgent Care Services team to update your pet’s vaccinations or if your canine companion has sustained a hunting-related injury.

By |2024-02-15T00:00:08+00:00September 15th, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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